Jennifer Stayton

Host, Morning Edition

Jennifer feels very lucky to have been born and raised in Austin, Texas. An English teacher at her high school, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, once suggested to the class that they tune in to KUT 90.5 for Paul Ray’s “Twine Time.” She has been a public radio fan ever since.

Her original career path – Psychology – took a back seat to radio after she started volunteering at the Williams College student radio station during her time there.

Jennifer has worked for commercial and public radio stations in news, production, music, and sales in Austin; Syracuse, New York; and Western Massachusetts. She has a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University in Radio-Television-Film. She has won awards from the Syracuse Press Club and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters.

Jennifer has been the local anchor and host of “Morning Edition” on KUT since May, 2004. She is also the co-host of KUT’s “Higher Ed” podcast.

Jennifer serves on the Advisory Committee for KTSW 89.9 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is also a member of the Communication Major Advisory Council for Concordia University in Austin, Texas. She is a member of Women Communicators of Austin and serves as a Mentor in the organization.

Her husband Charles, stepdaughter Samantha, and cats Tidbit and Durango are very patient with her early hours and strange schedule!

Ways to Connect

If you only had one class left to take in school, what would it be? During this graduation season,  Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore what that last class could - or should? - be, and making the transition from formal education to lifelong learning.


In this "Best of" Higher Ed episode, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger reflect on what commencement means and discuss what most students actually take away from their college experiences.  It may not be exactly what you'd expect.


"If I only knew then what I know now...." Sure, hindsight is 20/20. But if you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give? What decisions would you make differently? During this graduation season,  Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton give their younger selves some words of wisdom about life and learning. Think of it as "Higher Ed's" 2016 commencement address.


Headshot courtesy of the author

How's this for a catchy book title: "If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?”  

Author and UT McCombs School of Business Professor Raj Raghunathan admits it’s a provocative title, and maybe a little tongue-in-cheek. But, he says the book is really trying to answer that question. Why are people who are smart—successful, high achievers—not as happy as you might expect? Listen below to an interview with Raghunathan about the links between happiness and intelligence.


A podcast listener and fan recently wrote in with a question: How does one teach (or force) current and future Math teachers to make Mathematics fascinating? (By the way, that podcast listener is studying Mathematics education.) Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger is a mathematician, so who better to tackle that! He and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore that question in this episode of Higher Ed.


Math: we love it; we hate it; we cannot live without it. A Higher Ed podcast listener had read a National Public Radio piece on a book that argues against requiring advanced Math in school. That listener - who's studying Mathematics education - was inspired to write in and ask: Should Math be a college requirement? Does Math add significant value to a college curriculum? Can students become lifelong learners without taking Math? KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore those questions in this episode of Higher Ed.


What are the roles and responsibilities of higher education – if any – in resolving growing inequality in the U.S. and globally? That provocative question from a listener prompted KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger to explore the roles and responsibilities of higher education in general for this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed.


Most people like what's familiar, comfortable, and tidy. But should learning be that way, too? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the ways in which learning is actually quite messy. And how we shouldn't want it any other way.


Think. Create. Connect. To make meaning and make a difference. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger about a new vision for education and what that can look like in practice.  They dive in to the pieces of that vision to see what it might take to revolutionize education.


We all know the traditional school routine: Go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, go home, do the homework, come back to class, repeat. What if that model were reversed, and students were producers of some of that information, instead of only consumers? In this "Best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss flipping the traditional model of learning.


What does Spring mean? The weather turns warmer. Flowers bloom. Taxes are due. And for students pursuing an education beyond high school, it's time to make a big decision: where to go to college. It can be a stressful but also exciting time in a student's academic career. In this "Best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how students can determine if a college is the right place for them.


Some students and life-long learners think they're only good at one kind of subject. Maybe they consider themselves "science" people, or perhaps they keep their distance from labs but cannot get enough of history books. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the origins of what we know as "liberal arts" (hint: it all leads back to math) and why we can benefit from moving outside our comfort zones in what we study and explore.


In an ideal world, every student comes to class, or to any educational situation, well-prepared and ready to learn. But in reality, all kinds of life circumstances outside the classroom - such as poverty - can influence what happens inside the classroom. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about how those factors impact students' experiences. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

Merily Keller’s youngest son died by suicide in 2000, while she was working on a Master’s Degree in Public Health at UT Austin. Since then, she has worked in suicide prevention. She’s the program director for Mental Health America of Texas' Suicide Project.

KUT put the question to Keller: How does the suicide prevention community see itself fitting into the recent discussions nationally and in Texas about gun regulation?


What happens outside of the classroom - should it stay outside the classroom? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the value of co-curriculars to learning.


Persistence. Mindfulness. Caring. Passion. Should these be taught in school? Can they even be taught? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about teaching intangibles.


Photo courtesy of Kainaz Amaria/NPR

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead at a ranch near Marfa, Texas, while on a hunting trip. The 79-year-old Scalia was visiting the Cibolo Creek Ranch when he passed away in his sleep. Scalia had arrived at the ranch on Friday.

President Barack Obama said in remarks Saturday night that he will nominate a successor to Scalia with less than a year to go in his presidency.

Who doesn't feel pressed for time? And who isn't challenged by managing time during school? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about time management - what works, what doesn't, and why sometimes doing nothing at all is the best thing to do.


Best undergraduate school. Best graduate school. Best public school. Best regional school. Top "party school." These are just some of the ways institutions of higher learning are ranked in various surveys. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what those rankings really show and how they can best be used - or not - in choosing a school.


PSAT. STAAR. ACT. SAT. Does the thought of taking standardized tests make your palms sweat and heart race? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what standardized tests can and cannot measure, and the role they play in education and learning.


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